ZF to set up chassis division and drive networked chassis technology


Automotive technology company, ZF, has developed a thermal management system for electric vehicles claimed not only to offer a more compact drive design but that can also increase the range of vehicles in winter by up to one third.

The company has also optimised the components of the electric driveline (power electronics, motor and reduction gearbox based on 800-volt silicon carbide) and combined them into a compact, holistic system with a claimed 30% lower overall weight and, together with the thermal management system, a torque density of 70 Newton metres per kilogram of drive weight. ZF says this is a peak value for road-legal passenger cars currently available on the market.

Reduced weight is clearly good for vehicle dynamics, but ZF has been working on further benefits, which will launch under its new chassis technology and active safety subsidiary, named the Chassis Solutions division, in January 2024. The division’s responsibilities include by-wire products such as networked and electronically controllable braking, steering and damping systems. ZF’s engineering team is working to master the longitudinal, lateral and vertical control of a vehicle, and sees great potential for the future in networked chassis components.

The new unit bundles ZF’s entire chassis, steering and braking expertise, as Dr Holger Klein, CEO of ZF explained: “The Chassis Solutions division offers all the hardware components needed to control a vehicle’s vertical, longitudinal and lateral dynamics – and also the associated networking in the form of hardware and software. The unit already combines an annual turnover of more than 14 billion Euros and will be a reliable and competent partner for our customers in all regions of the world.”

In other ZF news, the company has also been making its organisation more efficient, with shorter decision-making paths and more agile processes. The company is reporting success from the streamlining, and of recent dynamics technologies, including its all-electric Steer-by-Wire steering system, for which ZF has received customer orders from all major world markets. The cubiX chassis software or the first-generation 800-volt electric drive will also be used by automotive manufacturers from Asia, Europe, and America in their vehicles in the coming months.

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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